In 2009, on the side of a Utah Highway, a Highway State Patrol Trooper fired a taser into Brian Cardall. Cardall, who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was having a manic episode at the time. Seeing Cardall’s behavior, the officer fired his taser into the man twice, leaving him lying lifeless on the ground. Cardall’s wife, Anna Cardall, asked the officer if her husband was alright. When the officer did not answer, she asked if she could provide her husband with some aid. The officers refused and ordered her to stay inside her vehicle.
No aid was given to Cardall until paramedics arrived on the scene, a factor that representatives for Mrs. Cardall argue contributed directly to the victim’s death.
As a result, a federal judge is determining if the wrongful death case will move forward to U.S. District Courts.
The plaintiffs named in the suit are Anna Cardall, her daughters Ava and Bella Cardall, and Brian Cardall’s parents, Margaret and Duane Cardall. Defendants named in the suit are Officers Thompson,Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell and the City of Hurricaine as defendants.
The suit claims that the actions of officers Thompson and Chief Excell constituted willful misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deprivation of constitutional rights, and of course wrongful death.
Judge Clark Waddoups heard initial arguments for the case, pertaining to whether he should render summary judgment. These initial debates allowed defense and plaintiff to explain the general merits of the evidence as it is understood so far, with the defense requesting a summary judgment dismissing all charges as frivolous, while the plaintiffs were insisting that the evidence merits going forward.
The defense attorneys for the officers argue that their clients never intended to kill Mr. Cardall, and were responding as best they could after 911 calls indicated Cardall was running around in traffic nude. However, the plaintiffs have argued that there are a number of other responses short of the use of the highly dangerous taser devices.